Friday, October 12, 2012

Rémy Martin Presents "The Heart of Cognac Experience"

Rémy Martin is currently hosting a series of educational events between October 9th and November 3rd with the goal of educating Torontonians on the art and craft of cognac, while at the same time showcasing its versatility. I was invited to "The Heart of Cognac Experience" this past Wednesday. The event was held at 155 Liberty Street in Liberty Village, which is literally across the street from my office! Scoreee!

Since my friend Reggie (@reggieramone) also works in the area, I invited him to come with me. The event was fun and interactive, an intimate evening of blending and tasting. We had the opportunity to sample cocktails made with Rémy Martin V.S.O.P and blend our own flavour of cognac. But because we both had to leave early for another event, we missed out on tasting Rémy Martin's new seasonal blend, Coeur De Cognac, in advance of its Canadian consumer release, and the XO Excellence Cognac, which was brought over directly from a cask from the Rémy Martin cellars in France. We totally MISSED OUT *sigh* Anyway, here are some pictures I took with my iPhone at the event :D

The reception bar.

Bottles of XO Excellence & V.S.O.P on display with the Louis XIII in a special glass display.

We had a choice of four cocktails from the bar. Reggie chose an Old-Fashioned (top) and I had the Spicy Toddy (bottom). I loved mine! Cinnamon-y and a bit fruity...kinda like apple pie.

Cool graffiti art. 

I was delighted to see so much food at the reception 'cause drinking with an empty stomach would've been a very bad idea.

Rémy Martin ambassador Nolan Beise welcoming us. 

After finishing our cocktails, we proceeded to the Blending Room where Nolan led us in a tasting of Rémy Martin V.S.O.P

Bottles of eaux-de-vie on display in the Blending Room. Eaux-de-vie, a clear and colourless fruit brandy, is produced by means of fermentation and double distillation. The eaux-de-vie selected for use in Rémy Martin products come from the two best growth areas of the Cognac region, the Grande Champagne and the Petite Champagne. The darkest eaux-de-vie on the furthest right have been aged for 40 years.

Blending time! We were given the task of recreating the Rémy Martin V.S.O.P by blending different eaux-de-vie: 4 years, 8 years, and 14 years, with a total volume of 30mL.

Reggie was in charge of all the blending and tasting since I was the designated driver that evening. 

Blending, sniffling, tasting...followed by more blending, sniffling and tasting, Reggie took his task very seriously :P

Another group had the closest blend to the V.S.O.P but Nolan assured Reggie and I that we were pretty close too (I think he was just trying to make us feel better LOL). The actual V.S.O.P blend remains to be TOP SECRET :D

We had a super fun time! Thanks Rémy Martin!